Kamaru Usman is currently coming off the back of consecutive losses to Leon Edwards. Their rivalry not only cost Kamaru Usman his welterweight title, but has left him in a precarious position in the division. ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’s dominance as the 170lb champ has meant there are few options for him outside of fighting for the belt.
Khamzat Chimaev and Kamaru Usman are both currently without an opponent, but UFC president Dana White has dismissed rumors of a fight between the pair.
After both Usman and Chimaev hinted at a potential bout on Twitter, reports emerged several weeks ago that the promotion was targeting a matchup between the two stars.
However, during a recent interview with MMA journalist Aaron Bronsteter, Dana White put speculation of that fight to bed. The UFC president stated that Usman expressed interest in the matchup but didn’t want to fight ‘Borz’ at 185 pounds. White also stated that the promotion “has plans” for Chimaev, but didn’t indicate whether he would stay at welterweight or move to middleweight.
Dana White said:
“We’ve got a plan for Khamzat. We have a plan for Khamzat and when we’re ready to announce it, we will… I don’t know what Usman is going to do. Usman’s still making some decisions. He wants to fight Khamzat but he doesn’t want to fight at 185 [pounds]. And I’m not doing a catchweight [fight].”
Khamzat Chimaev is currently ranked No.3 in the welterweight division. But following his disastrous weight cut at UFC 279 last year, there is speculation that the UFC may force Chimaev to move to middleweight.
See the full interview below:
Israel Adesanya comments on a potential Khamzat Chimaev bout
Khamzat Chimaev recently claimed that the UFC was protecting middleweight champion Israel Adesanya from him. The surging UFC title contender is supremely confident in his chances against ‘The Last Stylebender’, even stating that he could defeat Adesanya without throwing any strikes.
Adesanya has now shared his thoughts on a potential bout with Khamzat Chimaev, and the middleweight champion welcomed the challenge.
‘The Last Stylebender’ recently appeared on the IMPAULSIVE podcast and said:
“Trust me, I’m not scared of no one on this f***ing planet. No one. And also, guess what? I like a challenge. [Chimaev] presents something unique… It’s a big fight. That’s why I like that. Cheddar makes it better. But he’s [got] Kamaru [Usman to think about] and I think after that, he’s probably gonna go for the title… I’ve got bigger fish to fry. I’m gonna be there in July [at UFC 290] and I’m going to see what’s up.”
Watch the interview below from 1:21:15: